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Lord Rooker: Any ruling on the meaning or proper interpretation of the relevant sections of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 or the Race Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 would be for tribunals or courts to make in the event of a complaint or legal action.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Baroness Vadera): There are no plans to include controls on lending to customers in the proposed banking reform or saving gateway Bills.
In 2004 the Government put in place Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulation of mortgages. The FSA's regime offers appropriate consumer protectionfor example, by requiring that firms satisfy themselves that a mortgage commitment is affordable. The OFT regulates other consumer credit business. Regulation of consumer credit is being further strengthened with the implementation of the Consumer Credit Act 2006, due to be completed by October 2008. This Act has, among other measures, strengthened the OFT's ability to investigate and take action against firms which lend irresponsibly. The OFT will bring forward guidance on irresponsible lending later this year.
The Government maintain a regular dialogue with the financial services industry and other interested parties with the aim of promoting responsible lending practices. For example, BERR has established an expert working group to examine proposals to enable lenders to share more data on historic credit accounts, with the aim of preventing at-risk consumers becoming overindebted.
How many burglaries have been recorded in each of the past three years in south Belfast; how many people have been convicted for these offences; and what are the statistical trends in this area in relation to the sentencing level for multiple offences. [HL3999]
Lord Rooker: Table 1 gives the number of burglary offences recorded in south Belfast police district command unit, while table 2 gives the number of convictions relating to the same area. Data in tables 1 and 2 should not however be compared, for three reasons. First, data in table 1 refer to the DCU in which the burglary was recorded, while table 2 refers to the DCU in which an offender's address falls. Secondly, an offence recorded as burglary may subsequently be prosecuted on a different basiseg, as theft. Thirdly, conviction data are collated on the principal offence rule, where only the most serious offence with which an offender is charged is included.
Because of the principal offence rule, it is not possible to identify those offenders convicted of multiple offences of burglary and any subsequent sentencing trends. It is only possible to give sentencing information for those offenders for whom burglary was the principal offence.
The Government are giving particular attention to the problem of burglary in Northern Ireland. In 2007-08, a total of 11,698 burglary offences were recorded by police in Northern Ireland, which represents a net 37 per cent drop in the level of burglary since 2002-03 (when 18,659 offences were recorded). During the same period, the number of domestic burglaries recorded by the police decreased by 34 per cent, from 10,125 to 6,712. These reductions largely correspond with the timing of a NIO PSA target to reduce the recorded level of domestic burglary between 2001-02 and 2006-07, the final outturn of which showed levels of burglary down 25 per cent, well ahead of the 15 per cent target.
|Table 1: Number of burglary offences recorded in south Belfast police district command unit 2005-06 to 2007-08|
|Source:PSNI, Central Statistics Unit|
|Table 2: Number of convictions, method of disposal and the average immediate custodial sentence length (in months) for burglary for south Belfast police district command unit 2004-20061|
|1. Average sentence lengths exclude those justice centre order|
|Source: NIO, Statistics and Research Branch|
Lord Rooker: The PSNI has strict security arrangements in place with the independent public inquiries. Depending on the level of classification of the documentation, the material is either hand-delivered or sent via courier or recorded delivery, with the relevant inquiry signing and confirming receipt of all documents. I am informed that the inquiries also maintain records of documents they receive.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The strategic benefits endorsed by David Blunkett in the White Paper Secure Borders, Safe Haven in February 2002 led to the formation of the e-borders programme. Initial estimates in November 2003 of the costs for this were £959 million, with possible further contingency costs to a maximum of £1.336 billion, which included both capital and resource costings. Current forecasts for the total cost of the e-borders programme are £1.2 billion.
Further to the Written Answers by Lord Darzi of Denham on 19 March (WA 44) and 21 April (WA 233-34), why outgrowing mouse embryos have been used as a model of implantation in published studies if the intrinsic nature of outgrowing embryos is to lack potential and be unable to develop if implanted; and [HL3992]
Further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 2 June (WA 10), at what point an outgrowing embryo either ceases to be living, ceases to be human or ceases to be an embryo; and what criteria are used by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority during an inspection to determine that this point has been reached within 14 days; and [HL3993]
Further to the Written Answer by Baroness Morgan of Drefelin on 14 May (WA 135), why the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has authorised the culture of whole human embryos beyond 14 days to form outgrowths for the creation of stem cells. [HL3994]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Applications for embryo research licences are considered by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's (HFEA) Research Licence Committee (which will refer to advice from the authority's Scientific and Clinical Advances Group). It will consider whether the proposed method for embryo culture and stem cell derivation complies with Sections 3(3)(a) and (4) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1900 (HFE Act).
The HFEA has not licensed the use of mouse embryos as a model of implantation regarding this issue. When considering this issue, the HFEA's Scientific and Clinical Advances Group found no published studies regarding the transfer of these outgrowing entities to the womb of any mammal. The view of the group was that the aim of culturing cells in this way is to attempt to create stem cell lines and there is consensus among the scientific community that it is not possible for these entities to achieve a pregnancy.
Further to the Written Answers by Lord Darzi of Denham on 5 December 2007 (WA 19596) and 18 December 2007 (WA 11617) and his letter dated 14 January 2008, what protocol has been developed following more regular reviews of egg collection data by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority; and what concerns have been raised with the General Medical Council. [HL3995]
Lord Darzi of Denham: The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has committed to carrying out a review of all information it collects from centres, particularly to take account of the implications of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. As part of this it expects to have a protocol complete by December 2008. The HFEA has a Memorandum of Understanding with the General Medical Council, but has not to date reported any concerns.
Further to the Written Answers by Lord Darzi of Denham on 5 December 2007 (WA 19596) and 18 December 2007 (WA 11617) and his letter dated 14 January, what proportion of eggs were used in either research or egg-sharing arrangements at each of the respective licensed centres where between 20 and 85 eggs were retrieved from women per in vitro fertilisation cycle. [HL4031]
Lord Darzi of Denham: The information requested is not collected centrally nor held by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. Information giving the percentage of eggs donated to research and to egg-sharing arrangements is shown in the following table.
|Data on eggs donated to research or egg sharing arrangements where between 20-85 eggs were collected (1) (2) (3)|
|Centre code||Name||Cycles where at least 1 egg has been collected||Cycles where 20 - 85 eggs have been collected||Patients where 20 - 85 eggs have been collected in a single cycle||Percentage of all egg collections where 20 - 85 eggs were collected||Egg share cycles where 20 - 85 eggs have been collected||Percentage of cycles where 20 - 85 eggs were collected that were egg share cycles||Total eggs collected in egg share cycles where between 20 and 85 eggs were collected||Eggs donated for treatment of others in egg share cycles where between 20 and 85 eggs were collected||Percentage of eggs collected in egg share cycles (where 20 - 85 eggs were collected) that were donated for the treatment of other patients||Total eggs collected in cycles where between 20 and 85 eggs were collected and some were donated to research||Eggs donated for research where between 20 and 85 eggs were collected||Percentage of eggs collected in cycles where 20 - 85 eggs were collected and some were donated to research|
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